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CT Lawmakers Press Gun-Safety Needs after Uvalde Shooting


Wednesday, June 1, 2022   

Connecticut members of Congress and gun-violence prevention advocates held a Tuesday news conference, calling for legislative action one week after a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers in Texas.

U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, both D-Conn., said they've spoken throughout the weekend with Republican lawmakers, trying to find common ground on gun-safety reform. Since the Uvalde tragedy, Murphy said, he's heard more colleagues express interest in changes to gun laws and support for mental-health services than at any point since the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut nearly 10 years ago.

"We are going to work, every single minute of every single day, over the course of this week and next week, to try to get enough of our Republican colleagues to 'yes'." Murphy said. "I hope they are moved by what they have witnessed in the way that the rest of this country has been moved."

On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee will attempt to advance a series of gun-safety measures known as the
"Protecting Our Kids Act." Those policies include raising the purchasing age for semiautomatic rifles from 18 to 21, and requiring background checks on all gun sales.

Po Murray is co-founder of the Newtown Action Alliance and was a neighbor of the Sandy Hook gunman who shot and killed 26 people, a majority of whom were elementary-school children. After the latest tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, she said, she think Americans will no longer tolerate federal inaction.

"A decade after Sandy Hook, mass shootings have skyrocketed and gun deaths have increased by 30%. It's unacceptable," she said. "It's not too late for congressional Republicans to act. They have an opportunity to join the right side of history. The time is now for them to act."

Murphy and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, had a virtual meeting scheduled Tuesday to discuss a basic framework for gun-reform legislation that could receive enough bipartisan support to surpass the 60-vote filibuster threshold. Background-check loopholes and red-flag laws were among the expected topics.

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